The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is calling on Treasurer Scott Morrison to preserve the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small businesses in the 2017-2018 Budget.
NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said farmers, most of which were small businesses, had benefited from the accelerated depreciation arrangements for assets purchased for $20,000 or less.
“This was a welcome initiative for farmers who took the opportunity to invest in plant, machinery and equipment that otherwise they might not have been able to afford. They were also able to immediately depreciate expenses for Landcare activities, fencing, water and fodder storage upgrades.”
The instant asset write-off provision is scheduled to sunset on 1 July 2017 and Mr Mahar said farmers were requesting the Government extend the initiative or put in place a comparable alternative.
In its Pre-Budget Submission the NFF recommended the Government consider a more encompassing write-off approach.
“An option for the Government would be to allow small businesses to deduct the first $5,000 of any investment and allow large businesses to classify assets with a value of $5,000 or less to their low value pool.”
Mr Mahar said whether it was retaining the status quo or a new more-inclusive approach it was critical the write-off was saved.
“We are also seeking assurance that specific depreciation and capital write-off provisions for farmers will be retained.”
Mr Mahar said Australian agriculture was a powerhouse of our nation’s economy.
“For the first time, in 2016-2017 agriculture is forecast to achieve a production value of more than $60 billion. The NFF believes our sector can achieve a production value of $100 billion by 2030.
“However to do this, farmers need a tax and regulatory system that enables, not stifles growth.”
The accelerated depreciation measures, introduced in the 2015-16 Budget, encouraged investments that not only benefited farmers but also regional towns and the economy in general. There is no cost to the Government in the long-run but it has a real impact on small business cash flows.
To provide farmers with additional confidence to invest, the NFF is calling on the Government to commit to extending these programs in perpetuity in the 2017 Budget.
“As the peak body representing Australian agriculture, the NFF urges the Treasurer and the Government to continue to support farmers, through a tax environment that promotes their sustainability,” Mr Mahar said.
Australians can join the NFF in asking the Treasurer to #SaveTheWriteOff by sending Mr Morrison a prepared email at www.farmers.org.au/savethewriteoff